Some years ago we bought a pine chest for our bathroom from a friend’s antique shop. It was stuffed with documents belonging to an upper working/lower middle class family from Newcastle upon Tyne. The documents covered a period from the 1930s to the 1950s. There must have been nigh-on 100 pieces and, with the current interest in house history linking to the longer-term afascination for family history, now seems a good time to share what we can learn from them.